University of Southern Mississippi Acquires Papers of its First African American Faculty Member

The Special Collections division of the University of Southern Mississippi University Libraries has acquired the papers of John Calvin Berry, the first African-American faculty member at the university.

Dr. Berry began his career in education as a public school administrator in Jones and Jefferson Counties in Mississippi. He later became the associate director of a U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Title IV program based at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1970, Dr. Berry became the first African American faculty member at the university when he was named an instructor of student teaching. He retired from the university in 1985 as an associate professor of educational leadership and research. He passed away on November 10, 2013.

“The Dr. Calvin Berry Papers, particularly, demonstrate how tied Special Collections is to the community of Hattiesburg as well as, of course, Southern Miss,” notes Lorraine Stuart, head of Special Collections/Curator, Historical Manuscripts and Archives at the University of Southern Mississippi. “Faculty papers are invaluable complements to the University Archives maintained by Special Collections. The fact that Dr. Berry was the first African-American faculty member, give his papers an added significance for our university and our town.”

Dr. Berry was a graduate of Alcorn State University. He earned a specialist degree and doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs